Citroen C1 Review

Silver Citroen C1 driving along a road

The first generation C1 offered itself up as a decent city car that was high value for money. A solid and functional motto for a car that allowed many first time buyers to get on the road for the first time. So what can we expect from the second generation 2015 Citroen C1?

As Citroen say: It’s small where it matters and big where it counts – much like a shallow 13 year old boy’s assumption of standards after sneaking his first peak at an issue of Razzler. As part of a development trinity with the Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 108, it will come as no shock that the Citroen C1 shares the majority of its inner workings with them. That being said, each car has made a solid bid for its own identity. The funky Aygo hitting for the youth market, while the classy 108 is taking an original shot with the more mature buyers. So where does that leave this car? What sets the Citroen C1 apart from its design siblings?

The most noticeable difference from the original C1 is that there is a certain upbeat vibe about a much curvier design. Its distinctive 2 part headlight structure gives the Citroen C1 a strong character to differentiate it from the Aygo and the 108. There are a number of little touches that enforces this up-to-date design such as a cleanly styled tailgate with an integrated roof spoiler which hides the hinges that were so ugly on the previous C1 model. There’s even the option for a full fabric roof should you want to have that convertible feeling in a city car.

The front cabin is reasonably comfortable as long as you avoid the entry level model which doesn’t come with adjustable seat height. The quality isn’t quite as much as you might get with something like a VW Up! But the design is fresh and the vibe is pleasurable plus there are some interesting features that make up for it such as the fact that you can customise all the panels, nobs and bits to be a colour of your choosing. It’s worth noting that those who have the open top version might find it a little bit hard to read the dials if the sun is shining directly into the car. There is also a good amount of in-cabin practicality with a number of compartments and cubby holes. There is an optional rev counter that stacks vertically next to the main dial cluster in the manner of Kit from Knightrider. It’s purely optional however, it’s very good fun to have to enhance your cabin experience. There is a central console dominated by Citroens 7” touchscreen infotainment system which allows for drive and journey information, DAB radio, optional rear camera and even Bluetooth connectivity to text while you drive. Oddly enough it doesn’t come with any option of sat nav, which is quite a tough blow in this day and age. Like Peugeot, they rely on the brilliant Mirrorlink function. This syncronises and duplicates your phone’s desktop onto the car’s touchscreen, allowing you to use your phone functions such as streaming music, updating your status on Facebook and using Google maps while you’re driving. There are a few hiccups with this system – the screen goes blank when your actual phone goes into sleep mode and although it works with most phones; it doesn’t work with all so it’s best to check compatibility beforehand. That being said, when you get into it, it’s a great system.

Citroen C1 Airscape interior photograph

Going into the back, the rear seat room isn’t huge, although a couple of adults will probably find it quite manageable if the front chairs aren’t pushed too far back. 3 kids probably could fit fairly well, but annoyingly the middle seat belt isn’t even an option on this car. The boot is also not the biggest you can get out there, as with the previous model, but it has risen slightly from 139ltrs to a 196ltr capacity which is still an improvement and it certainly does the trick for a bit of shopping or a couple of bags. This extends to a fairly decent 780ltrs with the back bench folded down. Again though, a lot of people buying this kind of car probably won’t even need to use this function.

When you get behind the wheel of the Citroen C1, you’ll notice that in general everything is a little bit better from the previous C1. There are no gigantic strides of change, but it builds upon the older C1’s winning city car formula of being small, manoeuvrable and straight forward to operate. The controls feel very light, however there is an oddly tough gear change – a design characteristic that is shared with the Aygo and the 108. However you can nullify this by investing in ETG gearbox option which moves the gear change to paddles behind the steering wheel. The rear drum brakes work pretty well and the car has got a certain amount of agility due to being 60kg lighter than the previous model. Citroen have been mindful of keeping up a good level of ride quality so the soft suspension is comfortable when soaking up the bumpy British road terrain, but it also lends to a predictable amount of body roll when going around the bends. In general, the Citroen C1 is actually quite a fun urban runabout to bomb around the place in. In addition, the Citroen C1 boasts large wing mirrors a fantastically tight turning circle which is bound to make parking a doddle. Even more so with a rear camera option installed.

The Citroen C1’s engine sounds chirpy and gives the illusion of being perkier than it actually is. The old C1 had you revving your car to death in order to get anywhere (which naturally had a big effect on your fuel consumption) but with the new model they have managed to produce the same kind of torque at a lower rev range. There are a couple of 3 cylinder petrol engines to choose from – the 82bhp 1ltr BTI engine which does 0-60 in 14.3 seconds; and the 1.2ltr engine (which isn’t available with its Aygo sibling) which does 0-60 in 11 seconds, with both units reaching a top speed of 100mph. If there’s a chance you will be hitting the open road at any point then the 1.2 will be what you want. The 1ltr engine takes a sleepy 29.8 seconds to get from 50-70mph, while the 1.2ltr can manage it in just 15.9 seconds – this makes a huge difference when overtaking on motorways and such. However, If you’re going to keep to inner city driving (for shopping and school runs etc) then the 1ltr unit will probably be absolutely fine for most.

So all in all, what have we got here with the Citroen C1? Of the design trio it is part of, the Citroen C1 takes a clever middle ground between the youth aimed Aygo and mature targeted 108, catering to anyone between those two extremes. True enough – there might be more spacious and more sophisticated cars out there in the segment, but potential buyers will certainly be hard pressed to find a clever and economic car that is such good value in this market.

If you want to lease or finance the new Citroen C1 then don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact us page or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out about our Citroen C1 offers and Citroen lease deals.

Citroen C1

Will Titterington

Writer at OSV Ltd
Will Titterington is a freelance writer, video editor and all-round content creator based in Manchester, UK.

He believes that words can take on a transformative aspect and wants to help people make better decisions today.

His influences as a writer include Hunter S Thompson and Jack Kerouac, while among his interests outside writing are music, art, foreign films and football.

He’d one day like to own a Tesla, and still holds a candle for the Ford Capri.
Will Titterington
  • 9th June 2016

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